Xenagos, God of Revels – Timmy Plays Commander by Sheridan Challis

Xenagos, God of Revels

Timmy Plays Commander: Xenagos, God of Revels!

As somebody with a short attention span and very little patience – something my playgroup can attest to – I like fast-paced games with lots of action. That’s why Xenagos, God of Revels has been my commander of choice for almost 3 years now.

I’ve still not grown bored of scouring Gatherer for new things to try in my favourite deck – and I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far with all of you. Be ready for monstrous, unstoppable creatures, the relentless decimation of your mates, and trying to convince everyone that you’re going to attack anybody else but them.

CUBEdate – The Community Cube with Born of the Gods by Efka Bladukas


Party Planning

The deck’s premise is a simple one: ramp a little, play Xenagos, land something unstoppable, then smash somebody into the floor with it.

Commander games have a habit of becoming clogged by people (almost always Blue mages) trying to do overly complicated and self-indulgent things. Your playgroup will thank you for smashing these players first.

Once you decide on your primary target, try to eliminate one player before moving on to anyone else. This might seem a bit harsh, but the deck doesn’t protect itself well. As they say, “the best defense is a good offense”, and this is certainly true when you’re playing such an aggressive strategy. Focus on removing the biggest threat, so that you’re much more likely to survive yourself


Top of the Invite List

One of the best parts about playing Commander is that there’s no right decision when it comes to building your deck. That said, there are some must-haves for a Xenagos deck that you’d be crazy not to include!

seize the day card

Since Xenagos triggers at the beginning of the combat step – and scales with itself to boot – taking multiple combat steps massively raises your damage output. Having two extra in the same turn is absurd. There’s several ways to get extra combat steps, but Seize the Day is the best of them.

wilderness elemental card

Sometimes you just need a cheap, powerful trample creature to drop before casting cards like Seize the Day, and Wilderness Elemental fits the role perfectly. Similar cards include Skyshroud War Beast, Cosmic Larva, and Sheltering Ancient.

ruric thar card

Our best option for a defensive creature, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, is both a colossal damage source and a valuable blocker. While he suffers from not having trample, a large portion of his damage is done outside of the attack step, meaning you don’t lose much by pumping more combat-reliant targets. He also heavily hates on Blue mages which, let’s be honest, is never a bad thing.

decimate old card

You need to have a target for each permanent type to be able to cast Decimate, which is why this card is significantly cheap in cost for the havoc it wreaks, but in multiplayer that’s rarely an issue. Decimating a player who’s threatening you while you rampage over the guy next to them can buy valuable time, but beware of casting it too early and across multiple opponents. Making an enemy of everybody while not actually crippling anyone is sure to make you public enemy number one fast.


Choose a Catering Team

Xenagos wants to get the party started as soon as possible, so in the early game playing one or two mana-accelerants is great. It’s up to you whether you go with mana dorks, land ramp, or mana rocks, but I prefer creatures that ramp land because of the synergy with things like Soul of the Harvest, Domri Rade, and Kessig Wolf Run, which reward you for playing lots of creatures.

While it’s not as fast as running mana dorks, the advantage to running land ramp is being less vulnerable to board wipes. It also means you can play things like Chain Reaction and Blasphemous Act without affecting your own board state early on. Roughly half your deck should be either lands or mana ramp effects, with an emphasis on lands that come into play untapped.


Invite List

A large portion of your deck should be things with which to punch your mates in the larynx.

Since Xenagos can only target one creature a turn, there isn’t much benefit to having multiple threats in play, and it’s valuable to build your deck with this in mind. You don’t need more than 25 big trample creatures, with an emphasis on the trample part.

Creatures that scale with pumps like Rapacious One, Pathbreaker Ibex, and Cyclops Gladiator are all strong choices, along with any objectively powerful trample creatures. Examples include Dragonlord Atarka, Blightsteel Colossus, and Giant Adephage, although you should take into account how much mana you can reasonably generate when choosing your threats.


Dealing with Uninvited Guests

Some of your threats should play defense at least half-decently, since you can only pump one creature at a time. Having five or six threats that fit this description will mean you always have a guy to beat down with – even if attacking isn’t necessarily their strong point, the creature remains useful if you flood on threats.

Examples include Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, Gruul Ragebeast, and Wurmcoil Engine. Since these guys lack trample they probably won’t be a priority to pump with Xenagos, unless you’ve got Skarrg, the Rage Pits lying around or have managed to get Brawn into your graveyard.


Finishing Moves

At a certain point you’re going to want to end the game. The best way to do this is to take multiple combat steps, or through double damage and double strike effects. Having six to eight of these is reasonable.

Examples include Relentless Assault, Temur Battle Rage, Inquisitor’s Flail, and Scourge of the Throne. Triumph of the Hordes is also a strong choice, although your table probably won’t thank you for cheesing multiple games like this!


Icing on the Cake

Games often go long and you need to refuel on cards. We can take advantage of having high-power creatures using cards like Life’s Legacy and Hunter’s Insight, though these cards are a luxury and we can only afford to run a few since they rely on already having drawn threats.


Surprise Party Xenagos Decklist:

Host: Xenagos, God of Revels

Guests To Invite:

Rapacious One (0)

Hellkite Tyrant (0)

Elderscale Wurm (0)

Dragonlord Atarka (0)

Giant Adephage (0)

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed (0)

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (0)

Silvos, Rogue Elemental (0)

Soul of the Harvest (0)

Pathbreaker Ibex (0)

Cyclops Gladiator (0)

Wilderness Elemental (0)

Sheltering Ancient (0)

Avatar of Might (0)

Gruul Ragebeast (0)

Scourge of the Throne (0)

Wurmcoil Engine (0)

Woodland Bellower (0)

Kalonian Hydra (0)

Ghor-Clan Rampager (0)

Managorger Hydra (0)

Moldgraf Monstrosity (0)

Inferno Titan (0)

Rampaging Baloths (0)

Bane of Progress (0)

Greenwarden of Murasa (0)

Hired Help:

Shaman of Forgotten Ways (0)

Reclamation Sage (0)

Courser of Kruphix (0)

Vithian Renegades (0)

Eternal Witness (0)

Ohran Viper (0)

Whisperer of the Wilds (0)

Sakura-Tribe Elder (0)

Yavimaya Dryad (0)

Wall of Roots (0)

Dawntreader Elk (0)

Solemn Simulacrum (0)

Farhaven Elf (0)

Wood Elves (0)

For A Night You Won’t Remember:

Relentless Assault (0)

Seize the Day (0)

World at War (0)

Savage Beating (0)

Temur Battle Rage (0)

Armed // Dangerous (0)

Inquisitor’s Flail (0)

Special Guests:

Hunter’s Insight (0)

Momentous Fall (0)

Life’s Legacy (0)

Elemental Bond (0)

Mask of Memory (0)

Flameshadow Conjuring (0)

Sol Ring (0)

Loxodon Warhammer (0)

Kodama’s Reach (0)

Chain Reaction (0)

Decimate (0)

Impact Resonance (0)

Pulse of Murasa (0)

Beast Within (0)

Ancient Grudge (0)

Potential Venues:

Kessig Wolf Run (0)

Skarrg, the Rage Pits (0)

Treetop Village (0)

Temple of Abandon (0)

Karplusan Forest (0)

Stomping Ground (0)

Rootbound Crag (0)

Mutavault (0)

Reliquary Tower (0)

Wooded Foothills (0)

Spinerock Knoll (0)

Mosswort Bridge (0)

Command Tower (0)

Cinder Glade (0)

Raging Ravine (0)

Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers (0)

Homeward Path (0)

Gruul Turf (0)

With Commander being what it is, there’s no “right” way to build a deck. You can endlessly tweak your brew to your preferences, and there are a tonne of fantastic options to choose from when selecting your 100 for a deck like this.

Maybe you’d rather play Craterhoof Behemoth, or prefer to throw your party a little differently? Drop your comments below and tell me what you think!


Community Question: What Green or Red card would improve Xenagos commander deck?

Thanks for reading,

Sheridan Challis

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